“Our names are Kelly and Jaci Pfeiffer, and we are expecting twins. But, they’re not just any twins. One is biologically mine, and one is biologically Jaci’s. They both share a donor, which means that even though they’re considered twins because I’m pregnant with them both of them at the same time, they’re actually only half siblings. This wasn’t our original plan, but after almost three years of infertility, this is where we ended up. And honestly, it couldn’t be more perfect.
We started dating in October of 2014. We had been friends for a while and even though neither of us was looking for a relationship, it slowly turned into more. Shortly after we started dating, before we were even ‘out,’ the church preschool where we were both working found out about our relationship and fired us. We were told we couldn’t be in a leadership role in the church while we were living a life of sin. It became a pretty big local news story, and instead of coming out slowly and when we were ready, we came out to all of Central Florida on the 5 o’clock news. We met so many amazing people through a horrible situation, and what could have broken us ended up making us stronger. We knew then that we had found our happily ever after. We eventually found new jobs, moved in together, and Jaci slid into the step-mom role for my three boys, loving them the same as if they were her own. We talked a lot about the future and about someday having kids together.
Our journey started in December of 2015. We were asked to do an interview for a news story on why both parents in a same-sex relationship should be allowed on their child’s birth certificate. We knew we wanted to start a family together, but the interview made us realize that this wasn’t something we wanted in the future, it was something we wanted now. We did our research, picked a donor, and waited for Jaci’s cycle to start. We thought this would be an easy process because as far as we knew, we had no fertility issues outside of both being women. But we were very wrong.
The next 2 years and 9 months consisted of:
5 IUIs at home,
2 IUIs in the doctor’s office,
2 Saline Sonograms,
2 Polyp Removals,
15 Fresh Inseminations,
4 IVF Consults,
18 Monitoring Appointments,
4 Egg Retrievals,
2 Fresh Embryo Transfers,
3 Frozen Embryo Transfers,
1 Canceled Cycle,
58 Eggs Retrieved,
25 Embryos PGS Tested,
17 Embryos PGS Normal,
1 Chemical Pregnancy,
It’s a strange thing to prepare a place in your heart for a baby that never comes. For almost three years, every month ended the same – with negative tests, broken hearts, and empty arms. We spent every penny we had trying to bring a baby home with nothing to show for our investment, and the more money we spent, the more it felt like our dream would never be a reality. As hard as it was for me to get my hopes up every month only to have them come crashing down, it was harder to watch the pain that infertility caused Jaci. I love my wife more than anything in the world, and it killed me to watch her walk around with a baby-shaped hole in her heart. I would have done anything to fill this void for her. My wife is the most amazing woman. She is a teacher with a passion for special needs kids. She would go to work every day and love every single one of those children as if they were her own, then come home every night and cry because they weren’t. With every failed cycle, we both struggled with the realization that this could be the end of our journey.
We were feeling defeated and hopeless, but knew we wanted to keep trying. You go into this process with so much hope, but every failed cycle dims that hope a little bit more. Infertility becomes your identity, and you question your worth as a woman and as a wife if you can’t do something as simple as have a baby. So many times, the easier option would have been to give up, but this was a fight we weren’t willing to lose. We took breaks, reconnected as a couple, recovered emotionally and financially, and got back in the game.
We had tried many times to get Jaci pregnant, but we kept finding out about new issues – PCOS, polyps, anovulatory cycles, abnormal labs, etc. We decided I would try to carry. My first frozen embryo transfer in July of 2017 with two of Jaci’s girl embryos had failed, so we decided to try to transfer my embryo to me. It was the only combination we hadn’t tried, our only remaining girl embryo, and we were desperate to bring home a baby. Jaci couldn’t get the time off work, so I was flying alone from Florida to our IVF Clinic in New York. I knew she was feeling left out because it was my body, my biological baby, and she couldn’t be there for the transfer, but I had a plan.
I had talked to the embryology department to see if it was possible to transfer two embryos – one of mine and one of Jaci’s. The concern in transferring two is that if one embryo is higher quality, there is some belief that it can prevent the lower quality embryo from implanting. Embryology said because we each had an embryo that was the same quality (4BB), and PGS (genetically) normal, that there was no concern in transferring them together. So, I made arrangements with the clinic to transfer both – my girl embryo and Jaci’s boy embryo. The day of the transfer, everything went great. We were hopeful, and I was excited that I managed to keep the second embryo a secret for as long as I did (3 days!). Jaci figured it out when I kept looking at baby girl AND baby boy things. Oops!
September 24, 2018, four days after the transfer, Jaci wanted me to take a pregnancy test, but I was scared. I eventually gave in, but I reasoned that even though it would likely be negative, we could hopefully watch it turn positive over the next few days. I took the test, and by the time I walked back to our bedroom from our bathroom, there were two solid pink lines. There was no squinting, shining a light, turning the test at different angles, inverting the colors, etc. It was the clearest positive we had seen in our almost 3-year journey. Neither of us had any words in that moment. We sat together on the bed and just held each other. There were no tears. There were no words. The moment was bigger than anything we could have said or done, and it was equal parts exciting and terrifying. I think we stared at the test for a good 15 minutes, and then checked and rechecked it throughout the night. A few hours later, I took a digital test and we watched the word ‘Pregnant’ appear on the screen. It felt so real, but also like a dream.
We spent the next couple weeks taking multiple home pregnancy tests a day, watching the line get darker and making sure we were still pregnant. We were ecstatic that the transfer worked but remained cautiously optimistic. Infertility is hard, and after years of heart break, it was hard to trust that this pregnancy would last. We had no idea if I was pregnant with my girl, Jaci’s boy, or both, but it didn’t matter – we were finally going to be moms. On October 6, the day we turned 5 weeks pregnant, we had our first ultrasound. Jaci was so nervous driving to the appointment that she missed the turn three times. The ultrasound confirmed that there were two separate sacs, and both embryos had implanted. Nine days later, we saw our OB for the first time, and we were able to see both heartbeats. It was the most amazing thing we had ever seen. It was all so surreal. For almost three years, we had wished for a miracle, and now we were getting two! Every shot, every pill, every bruise – it was all worth it for this. We were living our real-life fairytale. We waited until our 15-week ultrasound confirmed the babies genders, on the slim chance that one embryo had split, before telling our boys. They are as excited as we are and can’t wait until the babies get here.
With all the ways we tried to bring a baby into our family, we really couldn’t have asked for anything better than a boy and a girl who will be born as twins and are each biologically one of ours while still being biologically connected to each other. We couldn’t see it at the time, but our entire journey led us to this. These babies are coming into our lives in the perfect way at the perfect time, and we are so thankful for the chance to be their Mom and Mommy. We love them so much already.”
This is an exclusive story to Love What Matters. For permission to use, email Exclusive@LoveWhatMatters.com.
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